Conference Presentations

Why Self-reflection Matters!

All of us have experienced situations when we receive feedback. Some we readily accept; some we quickly reject. In a community that should be dedicated to constantly inspecting and adapting, why do we reject some feedback immediately? Tricia Broderick believes that self-reflection is the key to processing feedback in a positive light. In this interactive session, you’ll work with Tricia and other delegates to experience enriching discomfort, practice deep reflection, and ascertain why we can be so quick to dismiss feedback. Gain an understanding of how discomfort and self-reflection can be an IT professional's best friends. Leave with an expanded understanding of self-reflection that includes taking greater responsibility for personal development and tweaking your improvement-seeking process. If you are looking to get out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual and team member, this session is for you.

Tricia Broderick, TechSmith Corporation
Lean Product Management: When Phase/Gate Is the Wrong Choice

More than 70 percent of new software products fail or perform below expectations. Achieving product-market fit is essential-and doing it quickly and within budget increases your chances of success. However, the methods you should use depend on the problems you are trying to solve. The predominant phase-gate model used today is not always the right choice or fastest path to market. As an alternative, lean product management approaches focus attention on applying the right process at the project level. Greg Cohen describes the four product-market fit challenge types, how to identify the challenge type your project faces, and how to adjust your process accordingly.

Greg Cohen, 280 Group
Software Development Productivity: A New Way of Thinking

Just as John Steinbeck was able to identify the complex system of tides, eddies, and other currents that bring nutrients to support life in the Pacific Ocean, you need to do the same for the complex human system that builds software products. Ray Arell argues that development productivity can increase only when you enable developers to grow and master the craftsmanship around their work. Describing a systems model of software productivity, Ray explores the elements necessary to “feed” the system and achieve the highest potential productivity. To help you diagnose systems issues, Ray demonstrates a visual tool-casual loop diagrams-that shows you how to identify and address the impediments that slow teams and degrade job satisfaction. He uses the same tool to show how agile and lean methods establish key reinforcing loops that improve productivity.

Ray Arell, Intel Corporation
ALM in the Cloud: Bringing Code to the Cloud and Back Again

The deployment destination for today’s applications is going through its biggest transition since the rise of the application server. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and other cloud service offerings are putting pressure on every stakeholder in the application lifecycle, forcing us to modernize both our skill sets and tool stacks. Mik Kersten describes the key cloud technology trends and demonstrates how the coming wave of cloud-friendly application lifecycle management (ALM) tools and practices will become the defining factor for productivity and ultimate success. Discover the new challenges developers face when deploying and debugging multi-tenanted applications on hosted infrastructures. Learn how continuous integration loops require testers to learn new tools that connect them directly to running applications.

Mik Kersten, Tasktop Technologies
When the Pressure Is On: A Risk-based Approach to Project Management

Teams everywhere have experienced tight deadlines for software development projects. In such time-constrained situations, how can you systematically determine where to focus the team’s efforts? How do you determine the right level of requirements documentation? How do you decide how much testing will be necessary so that you are not doing too little-or too much? Reán Young shows how a risk-based approach to these and many other issues helps you identify project strategy options and set priorities. Based on a combination of business and technical factors, you’ll learn to evaluate risks in each area of the application, and devise a plan to ensure that the most critical features will be developed, tested, and delivered before the deadline.

Rean Young, Kroger Company
Seven Habits of Highly Successful Project Managers

It is easy to find a million ways that software development and project managers can let down their teams and their projects. Ken Whitaker has identified seven pragmatic leadership tips and techniques you can use to build and sustain a great team that consistently delivers great software. Specifically, Ken discusses how to keep project management jargon and bureaucracy to a minimum, what your role as a project manager really is, how to take action to lead rather than just manage, how to mitigate losing your best performers to competitors, how to design in quality from project inception, how to realistically set schedule expectations, and some great ways for simplifying your communication to stakeholders. You'll find this presentation to be useful, exciting, and motivating. These habits are powerful-yet so simple you can put them into practice immediately.

Ken Whitaker, Leading Software Maniacs
Context-driven Leadership: How to Ride a Bull through a China Shop

Software development projects are just different. They’re often high-risk ventures with extremely complex interrelationships, filled with uncertainties, dependent on scarce knowledge workers, and much more. So, the leadership style and skills needed to be successful are quite different from those needed in simple, stable projects that run through organizations. Kent McDonald introduces his Context Leadership Model, an important managers’ tool that uses the project characteristics of uncertainty and complexity to provide guidance for project leadership and governance. Kent demonstrates how to assess the characteristics of a project, how to choose the project leadership approach based on those characteristics, and how to tailor it for unique situations.

Kent McDonald, Knowledge Bridge Partners
The Paths to Innovation

There are many paths to innovation. At one extreme, many large companies create research labs, staff them with world-class Ph.D.s, and set them working for years to solve complex technical problems. At the other end is the proverbial "two entrepreneurs in the garage" working on a shoe-string budget. Between these extremes are all sorts of organizational structures, team sizes, budgets, and time horizons to encourage innovation. Patrick Copeland introduces basic models for innovation-top-down, democratic, and his personal favorite “eXtreme”-and describes how Google's core beliefs, culture, organization, and infrastructure have successfully encouraged and enabled democratic innovation throughout its growth. From the now famous “twenty-percent time” offer to engineers to its culture of trust, Google is famous for its innovation and out-of-box thinking and execution.

Patrick Copeland, Google, Inc.
Influence v. Authority: Using Your Personal Power to Get Things Done

How often have you been in a situation where you could see the solution and yet did not have the authority to make a change? You tried persuasion; you tried selling your ideas; you might have even tried friendly manipulation to get your way. And nothing worked. Here’s a new plan. We can learn to develop and use personal power and influence to effect positive changes in our companies. Johanna Rothman describes how we can be specific about the result we want, look for what’s in it for everyone, and consider short- and long-term options to foster change while acting congruently and authentically. Although it’s not easy to do, with preparation and persistence you can transform yourself into a person with personal influence. When you’re influential, you build your power and, by extension, your informal authority in the organization.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.
Coach New People to Success

Johanna Rothman describes a hectic situation involving having to deal with four people and four different projects. The folks involved are in over their heads and Johanna can't even tell if these people are qualified for their job.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

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